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Good pickups for Squier Jag Shortie?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by NightCat, Feb 4, 2016.


  1. NightCat

    NightCat

    Apr 4, 2013
    Oregon
    A friend of mine just switched to bass and bought a new Squier Vintage Modified Jaguar SS for $127. Crazy cheap price.

    I'm thinking about picking up a quality set of replacement PJ pickups for him. Any suggestions for a moderately priced PJ set that would enhance the tone of the short scale? Right now he's mainly shares duties on harmonica and drums in a classic rock and blues "hobby" band. The bass player has some work conflicts so can't always be there. Tone wise the goal is finger-style pocket playing. Deep, fat and warm.

    I'm not apposed to dropping $140 on a Geezer Butler set but I think that might be way overkill. Not that they are significantly more expensive than Seymour Duncan Quarter Pounder set $123. I've heard so many conflicting opinions of the Quarter Pounders that I'm not sure I want to risk that for someone else's instrument.
    Right now I'm considering the Seymour Duncan SPB-2 Hot P $65, and the Seymour Duncan SPB-2 Hot Bridge J $58 which puts me at $123 again. Price isn't my first concern but I don't want to spend money I don't need to.

    Thanks,
    ~NC
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2016
  2. Growlmonkee

    Growlmonkee

    Jan 30, 2013
    Florida, U.S.
    One of the big issues with P/J basses is that the P pup is a 2 coil humbucking design, and the J is a single coil, so... as it is now you may notice single coil noise any time the J is turned up, with a Jazz bass, when the 2 pickups are at equal volume, they hum cancel each other, not gonna happen with a P/J. The GZR's aren't pirced high, really if you take into account that the J in that set is a split coil....no single coil hum. (they sound really good too). Seymour Duncan makes both split coil, and stacked coil Jazz pickups, ( and single coil), the hum is just one issue, no big deal to some, a very big deal to others. If you go with a SD P pickup, and a SD stacked or split coil jazz bridge, your right around the same price as the GZR set, maybe a little higher. I suggest plug in the bass now, turn up the amp a bit, turn up the j pup, or even both pups, if the noise matters, you might consider GZR's, or any set with a hum cancelling J, if the noise is trvial, no big deal. That , and the included quality pots makes GZR's a bargain, imo. Dimarzio, and others also make nice hum cancelling J pups.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2016
    gReGkArKaS and NightCat like this.
  3. Growlmonkee

    Growlmonkee

    Jan 30, 2013
    Florida, U.S.
    Take measurements of the J pickup if you can before ordering, J neck pickups are a bit smaller than J bridge pickups, I'm not sure of the size in the SS Squiers, maybe someone who knows will chime in, they are probably bridge size , but better to be sure, (GZR's are available with 2 different size J's for that reason). had to edit, I Think GZR's are available with a short J, I'm not positive.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2016
  4. fjadams

    fjadams

    Jun 7, 2011
    Danbury, CT
    There's nothing wrong with the "P" pickup but the "J" is a little weak. I have two of them, both modded. One highly modded, one moderately. Before you change pickups try changing the electronics from V/V/T to V/B/T to have more control over how much the "J" is blended in.
    If I was going to change both pickups I'd go with the "P" & "J" set of Lace alumitones. Which is exactly what I did on one of them. The other one has the stock pickups, the electronics changed to V/B/T with a .047 drop cap. Since I mostly use the "P" and just blend in a little of the "J" this works for me.
     
  5. Yahboy

    Yahboy

    May 21, 2008
    NightCat likes this.
  6. +1 for the GZR, I have them in my shortie jag, and I love them. The long J pickup fits no problem, but you might have to do some sanding around the pickguard to get the P pickup to fit. Not really a big deal, and it's definitely worth it. If you get the GZRs, be careful. EMG had a run in which the J pickup was unintentionally not humcancelling. If you end up with one of these, EMG will sort you out quickly. Anyway. GZRs. Get em.
     
  7. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    I would use a split coil noiseless jazz pickup like a Dimarzio or a Fender Super 55 (if you can find one) and try that first before replacing the P pickup. If you are still not happy, I have found that a Duncan SPB-1 and a Super 55 bridge pickup are a match made in heaven.
     
    NightCat likes this.
  8. NightCat

    NightCat

    Apr 4, 2013
    Oregon
    Great reply's.

    I haven't played the Jag so I haven't heard the pickups. I just read that they are the weakest part of an otherwise darn good inexpensive bass. So it is mainly the J that makes the PJ pair seem weak? Interesting.
     
  9. fjadams

    fjadams

    Jun 7, 2011
    Danbury, CT
    Yes. The P is not at all a bad pickup. The J is a little weak. But I never just play the J alone as I'm not a fan of the tone from a bridge J so I just use it to blend on every different P&J bass I have. If you just use it to blend in a little highs and mids and not as a solo pickup it'll play and sound perfectly fine.
     
  10. Growlmonkee

    Growlmonkee

    Jan 30, 2013
    Florida, U.S.
    I love my P/J with a GZR set, the mix of P and J is very good, I also have a Geddy Lee Jazz with Super 55's, they are great Jazz pickups, noise free, with all the snarl, and thunder you could ask for, they are fairly hot, possibly too loud to mix well with the Squier P pickup, ( I've not tried one in a P/J). Your safest bet, if you're gonna change them, and do not want to experiment would be a matched set, Dimarzio, EMG, and others make sets with a hum-free J, you probably would not be disappointed with either of those company's products. I only brought up the "hum" issue, cause it's a known thing with P/J basses, and I was never quite happy till I had that sorted on mine, and if your gonna change the pups, it was worth mentioning, many sets are sold with a single coil J, they sound good, but my band 's stage setup is already noisy, and I didn't want to be a part of that problem, (stage noise suks) (old Hiwatt, Vox, and Marshall tube amps, lots of lights, a fan I would like to smash some day, no iem's yet, etc.
     
  11. NightCat

    NightCat

    Apr 4, 2013
    Oregon
    The J in my PJ set, SB-2 is dead quiet and I think it is a single coil. At least I don't hear hum when it is blended. I also never solo the J.
     
  12. Are you referring to a G&L SB-2?
     
  13. NightCat

    NightCat

    Apr 4, 2013
    Oregon
    Yep, the one in my sig.
     
  14. According to G&L's website, their MFD pickups offer higher output with less winds, which would lower the noise level.
     
  15. bnolsen

    bnolsen

    Jan 30, 2014
    denver area
    Give the stock pickups a chance. The split coil p sounds like I expect it to sound. There's a cheap bar magnet mod which brings up the J pickup volume, although it's kind of anemic like most other J pickups. I'd be tempted to do a mod with a push pull to remove the J from the circuit entirely.

    I myself got a new jag SS last friday and the magnet showed up today (I think, didn't open the box yet). I'm going to string change to GHS pressure wounds, may as well add the magnet, and then do a full setup.
     
    NightCat likes this.

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